Coast Forest Products Association

August 26, 2011 16:55 ET

B.C. Coastal Forest Industry Looks to Economic Plan for Future

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Aug. 26, 2011) - The people have spoken and the B.C. coastal forest industry has set its sights for the future on working closely with the provincial government to focus on a "Plan B" tax regime that drives competitiveness, innovation and investment. With a return to the PST/GST taxation system, the imperative for industry and government to work together to implement a successful economic development strategy becomes even more important for the coastal forest industry to prosper and provide family supporting jobs.

"The coastal forest industry is positioned to take advantage of growing export markets in Asia and in other regions, which ultimately create and sustain jobs for forest workers locally," says R.M. (Rick) Jeffery, President & CEO of Coast Forest Products Association. "With a return to the PST/GST tax regime it is important that the provincial economic development strategy provide increased opportunity for investment and innovation in the development of new products and markets and leverages our competitiveness in markets around the world."

The forest industry and the Province have been working together since 2003 to diversify the market for B.C. forest products by expanding into China and other regions. These efforts have proven successful with the value of softwood lumber exported to China in May for the first time surpassing exports to the US. In addition, the use of wood in non-residential applications has increased in structures like the Richmond Olympic Oval and the Vancouver Convention Centre.

While the US housing market continues to struggle, the Canadian dollar remains strong and the recent continued turbulence in financial markets, the importance of market diversification into the Asia Pacific and South Pacific for British Columbia's forest industry, economy and jobs remains tantamount.

"The coastal forest industry cannot afford to lose ground," adds Jeffery. "As a key economic driver of the provincial economy, the provincial government needs to keep focusing on programs and regulatory and tax regimes that increase economic development and trade opportunities for forest products companies."

Over the next two years while the Province reverts to the PST/GST taxation system, the coastal industry is committed to working with the provincial government on issues, strategies and actions to create more opportunities for forest companies and trade in British Columbia.

Contact Information

  • Coast Forest Products Association
    Sandra Bishop
    Media Contact